In our evaluations, we specialize in assessing complex conditions and evaluating the body as a whole. This skill set is one of the primary reasons that patients travel from out of state to see us. In this discovery process, you are an active participant, and we want you to understand all the pieces of the puzzle that make up your unique biodynamic system. Together, we will:
- Identify the underlying problem
- Determine the contributing factors
- Set realistic expectations and goals
- Design a roadmap to your recovery
Your body knows what it needs to heal, and our job is to help access that wisdom by asking the right questions and listening keenly to what you and your body are saying. This starts from the moment you come in. We look at how you are sitting, how you move, and how your skeletal system is aligned, and we listen to what you say and how you say what you say. We want to know about your history of injuries throughout your body because often an old injury can be in part why a new issue has presented itself.
Next we perform a very thorough orthopedic evaluation of wherever you have pain. We specifically test the ligaments, tendons, joint mobility, alignment, neuromotor control, strength, muscle recruitment patterns, movement patterns and flexibility in the area of concern.
We also do in-depth muscle testing and look at how much power a muscle can generate and assess whether or not each division of a given muscle can be recruited with clinical kinesiology. This can reveal why a chronic hamstring injury or tendonitis somewhere in the body will not heal. Traditionally the hamstring is tested as a group. But when you divide a muscle like the hamstring into its six different divisions, we not only learn about imbalances within the muscle group itself, but about the body as a whole because each division corresponds to a range of possible things that could be going on throughout the body. Once the issues have been identified, the next step is to determine what techniques we need to do to allow this muscle to be fully recruited, strengthened, and healed
A primary focus of our practice as well as one of our greatest services is our skill at assessing biomechanics. This is the science of how forces act on and within the body. Correcting biomechanics is what allows people to leave our office feeling younger and better than they did prior to an injury.
- Your overall alignment determines how force translates through your joints. Just like in any mechanical system the joints are junctions where force vectors converge. We help you bring your body into alignment so that forces move directly through your skeletal system to alleviate pain, create stability, efficiency and power. Ultimately, this increases the life and of all your joints and determines how much load they can bear.
- Your structural alignment also dictates what muscles you have access to. This is where increased power comes in. You begin to recruit deep hip muscles, abdominals, and pelvic floor muscles reflexively as you more in response to accurate alignment.
- Core strength starts at your feet. For some of our patients, custom orthotics are the foundation for success, and this becomes the focus of the evaluation. We design orthotics to bring our patient’s entire musculoskeletal systems into alignment and this stability is empowering.
What makes our diagnostics advanced is the science of what we do and our skill in doing it, but it is also the art of how we do what we do. Caring and seeing you as a whole, beyond your physical body, dictates our holistic perspective and informs our choices of how to work with you. Profoundly listening and attending to the subtitles of what you say and don’t say leads us to where we need to look next to unravel and discover the next piece that completes the puzzle of your healing process.
Two of the paradigms that have infused our clinic and our staff’s way of listening, seeing, and being attuned are Somatic Experiencing and Aston Patterning. These approaches, as well as our own personal journeys and experience, contribute to what we bring to each session with each person.
We recognize that the outward body is affected by, and is in part a reflection of, what is going on internally. We appreciate that the dimensions of mind and spirit impact the physical. If we hold this awareness as we assist the body to come into balance and alignment it facilitates a process of healing that can be transformational on many levels and brings people into the full expression of who they truly are.
The Art of what we do:
- Approaching each person with openness and curiosity. Even if two people have the same injury or surgery they are always treated uniquely in our clinic.
- Recognizing that everyone has different needs. Some people are happy to simply be out of pain. Others are on a journey of transformation where their bodies and injuries are a part of a larger focus. We meet everyone where they are withunconditional respect.
- Helping people see what is possible for them when they are discouraged by pain.
- Appreciating the complexity of being human and how beliefs, past trauma, unprocessed emotions, and desires affect our bodies, perspectives, and perceptions of what is possible.
- Holding people with reverence, honoring where they are and respecting the pace that they need to heal.
- Holding hope for someone when they have lost it for themselves
- Seeing someone whole and well until they can know and experience it for themselves.
Soft tissue mobilization
Our version of soft tissue mobilization/ myofascial release ranges from very deep to the light touch you would experience with cranial/sacral work. Often we combine movement in various positions with muscle and fascial release to reach a specific layer and to eliminate pain and restrictions through a specific arc of motion. Our technique is always aimed at restoring pain-free movement and optimal alignment throughout the body.
For 18+ years we have been combining movement with release of the muscle and fascial layers simultaneously. We release the the tissue in combination with the positions and movement patterns that cause pain so that we can specifically identify and treat the restricted layer. We go to the depth that the problem lies so if it is deep, we go all the way to the bone to release the tissue
This is an Aston-Patterning® approach of working with the muscle and fascial layers simultaneously with the objective of releasing a pattern that is held in the tissue and the body as a whole. When one area is restricted the rest of the body has to adapt around that restriction. Therefore, the most dominant or controlling “layer” of myofascial restriction is identified and treated. We then balance out the whole bodies fascial network to the change we make in one area.
Meningies and Paravertebral Fascia Release
These are the deepest layers of tissue surrounding the spinal cord and brain. It can cause back aches and headaches that no one can figure out why the pain is there. If you have heard of “Epidurals” or Meningitis-it is these layers that are being referred to. These layers are very dense and we find they can restrict mobility, cause chronic pain, and hold trauma in the system. If they are restricted, releasing them provides a deep shift in the system on many levels to include pain free mobility.
There is fascia surrounding all your visceral organs and sometimes restrictions in this area can affect the function of your diaphragm as well as cause, hip pain, back pain, chronic neck pain and headaches as well as pelvic floor and S-I pain. This is gentle and specific and can often be The underlying problem
Cranial Sacral Therapy
This technique addresses the subtle movements of the cranial bones as well as the cranial sacral fluid which has it’s own rhythm, unique to the rhythm of your breathing and heart beat. Imbalances in this system are common with head trauma and also as compensatory adaptations to alignment issues in other areas of the body. These imbalances can be corrected by this subtle technique that also helps with improving regulation of the sympathetic and parasympathetic autonomic nervous system. In other words it is deeply calming to your nervous system allowing for deep healing to occur.
Restrictions in the body can also be the result of joint stiffness, limited joint mobility or when a bone is “out” of alignment. Some people can just feel when their back is “out”. These techniques are precise and done with respect to the exact contours of a joint surface so that dramatic improvements can be made immediately with gentleness and specificity. Joint limitations help support the soft tissue work that we do to create an overall therapeutic effect of pain relief and restored mobility.
This Aston-Patterning® technique addresses restrictions in the tissue as it relates to bone or other soft tissue structures as well as joint restrictions. It is very three dimensional and creates immediate and dramatic changes in alignment and pain free mobility.
High speed adjustments to that we commonly use to move bones in the extremities: feet, knees, hips, shoulders, elbows, and hands. The spine is easy to adjust with positional “muscle energy techniques” that slow and gentle where the patient is in control.
Muscle Energy Techniques
We realign bones in the neck, back and pelvis that are out alignment by setting the vertebra in a specific position so that the patient can contract their muscles to pull the bone back into place. The patient is in control the whole time.
This is a positional release whereby a trigger point in the tissue is “reset” by moving a part of the body into a position where the trigger point is no longer tender. This is an absolutely pain free technique
Trigger Point Dry Needling
What is Dry Needling?
Trigger Point Dry Needling or Intramuscular Manual Therapy is an intervention involving the insertion of a monofilament needle into a trigger point to decrease pain, reduce inflammation, and improve range of motion amongst other things. The needle itself causes a small lesion which stimulates the body’s natural healing response through chemical mediators such as bradykinin, neuropeptides, and catecholamines. These are responsible for creating the natural inflammatory response that leads to healing. The lesion created by the needles helps improve blood flow to the impacted tissue.
How is this different than acupuncture?
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) utilizes the same needles as Trigger Point Dry Needling but there is where the similarities begin to end. Acupuncture follows historical meridians to determine placement of needles in order to restore energy or Qi. Acupuncture also treats a variety of conditions from stress, anxiety, and even nutritional deficiencies. Trigger Point Dry Needling focuses on trigger points defined by Dr. Janet Travell and Dr. David Simons. Physical therapists have an extensive educational background including in depth cadaver anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics that provides the necessary knowledge to locate trigger point and treat appropriately with needles.
What to expect during treatment?
It is strongly advised not to eat 30 minutes prior to treatment. Also, if you have historically low blood pressure (<110/60) please let us know. It will help guide our treatment. A thin monofilament needle will be inserted into the trigger point which often creates a muscle twitch response which is desirable. This may cause some temporary pain. In our experience 80% of trigger point dry needling is pain free. You may feel an electric shock or a grabbing feeling as the needle goes into the trigger point. This usually subsides very quickly as the trigger point begins to release. The effects can be noticed immediately with pain relief and increase range of motion. In our experience acute pain resolves very quickly with dry needling with more chronic conditions taking more time.
What do people have to say about Trigger Point Dry Needling?
“Following a horrible car accident I came to see Ben to help with my neck and back. In one dry needling treatment session I went from almost no mobility in my neck to being able to look over my shoulders. I was also able to finally relax and get some sleep that night. The benefits have been remarkable.” – Amanda K, Austin, Texas
“I had a large tear in my right rotator cuff this Spring. I was in a great deal of pain & everything I did in everyday functioning inflamed it more. After getting my diagnosis from a Shoulder Specialist, I was destined for surgery. The Doctor gave me a steroid injection & prescribed 4-6 weeks of physical therapy before setting up my surgical appointment. I had been working with Rebecca & Ben at New Dimensions on other problems. Rebecca suggested Dry Needling 2x/wk with Ben. I did not understand what Dry Needling was but must admit, I was rather doubtful such a thing could help me.
After several weeks of this treatment, I am happy to report that the inflammation is gone & I am into the strengthening stage with exercises for my arm/shoulder. These Professional Magicians at New Dimensions have helped me to avoid surgery & I am eternally grateful!“ – Janis McCullough, Austin, Texas
Personalized Prescriptive Exercises
This is the cornerstone to help our patients hold the changes we make with manual therapy and to integrate new alignment and muscle firing patterns into their daily life and athletic endeavors. We take this opportunity of physical therapy to teach the body how to function even better than it did previous to a given injury or condition. What you can expect:
- 1:1 Hands on Guidance in all Exercise
- Constant analysis and training of specific muscle firing patterns
- Instruction on the use of ground reaction force to make movement more powerful and less effortful
- Mindful and dedicated attention to alignment throughout a movement pattern
- Skillful design of exercises to improve the mechanics of the whole body when focussing on a specific joint such as the knee.
- Unloading® with specialized equipment to reduce your body weight while you perform functional movement patterns. This allows for reeducation of your nervous system while taking the load off of injured tissues as well as an an active recovery. The bottom line is that is gets you back to pain free living faster.
- Challenging you as much as possible with care, attentiveness, and respect to you pain level, inflammation, accuracy of sustaining alignment, capacity to recruit the correct muscles, and post operative restrictions.
- Medically Prescribed sets, repetitions, and resistance to specifically promote healing in bone, cartilage, ligament, tendon, and muscle.
We are proud to be one of the few clinics in Austin that offers 1:1aquatic therapy. Our therapists are in the water with you for the full hour to guide and supervise the accuracy of your movement.
Aquatic Therapy is helpful for:
- Low Back Pain: in the water your spine is decompressed while you strengthen under the guidance of a therapist.
- Athletes who are looking for and active recovery from an injury. The aquatic environment allows you to train and strengthen without causing further trauma to your healing tissue.
- People who have pain with walking, squatting, lifting their arm, weight bearing on their feet or exercising against gravity. The buoyancy of the water reduces the load on your tissue and joints so that you can continue to train and exercise with out pain. This can help get you moving again and respecting where your body is so that you can progress to regaining ease of moving on land.
- People seeking high level training without joint compression. Being in the pool vs on land offers the opportunity to strengthen against resistance in multiple planes (all possible directions) not just in the line of gravity. (This ideal for shoulders.)
- Post Surgical patients who have had shoulder, spine, and total joint replacement recover so much faster with aquatic therapy.
- Swelling and Lymphatic Drainage as the hydrostatic pressure of the water facilitates the lymphatic system to drain extracellular fluid and reduce swelling.
- People who hold a lot of tension in their muscles and their nervous system. Watsu, Bad Ragaz, AquaStretch and Ai Chi are soothing, relaxing techniques that promote better sleep and help with sympathetic/parasympathetic regulation.
- People with limited joint mobility in their spine, and aquatic therapy effectively helps increase range of motion, strength, and stability throughout recovery.
- Aquatic therapy is particularly valuable in treating arthritis, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, total joint replacements, neurological, and sports-related injuries, as well as pregnant and post-partum women.
Pelvic Health and Rehabilitation
Millions of men, women and children are suffering from pelvic floor dysfunction, yet for most, the disease goes unidentified and untreated. Statistics say that 1 out of every 5 Americans (of every age) suffer from some type of pelvic floor dysfunction at some time in their life.
Anatomy of the Pelvic Floor
The pelvic floor is made up of muscles and other tissues that form a sling from the pubic bone to the tailbone. They assist in supporting the abdominal and pelvic organs, and help to control bladder, bowel and sexual activity. What is Pelvic Floor Dysfunction? Pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD), refers to a wide range of conditions that occur when the muscles of the pelvic floor are weak, tight, or difficult to recruit. This can be the result of alignment issues in the feet, knees, hips, sacroiliac joint, low back, and coccyx.
Common symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction
- Urinary or bowel incontinence
- Difficulty controlling urinary or bowel urges
- Painful urination or bowel movements
- Pressure in the vagina or rectum
- Pain with sexual activity (dyspareunia)
- Frequent infections (yeast, urinary tract)
- Constant sense of urinary urge
- Constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Constant or frequent irritation, burning, pain at the vaginal opening
- Pain in the genitals
- Coccydynia- Tail Bone Pain
- Deep pain inside the pelvis
The New Dimensions Approach: While we treat the pelvic floor directly, we also look at how the alignment and movement patterns in the rest of the body affect the pelvic joints and musculature. We have seen that the biomechanics (the study of alignment in motion) of the foot, knees, hips, pelvis and spine, determines how the the pelvic floor muscles function. Often, when people do not have proper alignment to provide adequate support and from below, they will tense and be “on hold” in their pelvic floor which can cause pain and dysfunction. Sometimes custom orthotics are necessary to correct alignment from below. “Within seconds of stepping into my New Dimensions orthotics, I could feel my tailbone unwind for the very first time. It was profound to me how it so quickly affected my pelvic floor muscles. It’s like they finally let go and could sit down and relax after 40 years of standing unsupported. – Dr. Laura Wilson, Colorado Springs, Colorado, physical Therapist specializing in pelvic floor dysfunction We also recognize the interconnectedness of pelvic floor dysfunction with respiratory function, nutrition and emotional health. In order to provide comprehensive care, we refer out as needed to create a multidisciplinary team.
Local Treatment may include
- External and internal soft tissue mobilization
- Visceral manipulation
- Trigger point release
- Electrical Stimulation
- Deep Tissue Massage
- Biofeedback to improve pelvic floor muscle coordination
- Electrical Stimulation
Global Treatment Includes
- Addressing the alignment of the spine
- Neutralizing the alignment of the pelvis
- Balancing the strength of the abdominals, hip & pelvic girdle, as well as foot and ankle musculature
- Biomechanics training of the foot/ankle, knees and hips to facilitate appropriate resting tone in the pelvic floor.
- Orthotics as necessary to provide support from below.
Not all approaches are the same and we invite you to experience the New Dimensions difference.
Spine Specific Therapy
e offer joint specific treatment targeted at allowing full pain free range of motion as well as spine specific exercises designed to strengthen and prevent injuries.
- To reduce pain and facilitate healing we supplement our treatments with the following: Ultrasound, iontophoresis, electrical stimulation, TENS, taping, bracing, mechanical traction, cold laser, ice and heat.
- Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves applied through a wand or probe on your skin to produce an internal image or to help treat pain. Real-time ultrasound can let you see your pelvic floor muscles functioning and help you learn to relax them. Therapeutic ultrasound uses sound waves to produce deep warmth that may help reduce spasm and increase blood flow or, on a nonthermal setting, may promote healing and reduce inflammation. Newer ultrasound devices administer low-frequency, low-intensity waves and can be used at home.
- Cold laser applies low-intensity laser light to the tissue and may help with pain, inflammation, and wound healing. Some devices have FDA approval for temporary relief of minor muscle aches, joint pain and stiffness, and for relaxation of muscle spasm, and increased local blood flow where they are trapped or pinched by muscles.
We are committed to your foundation—Core Strength starts at the feet. Custom Foot Orthotics are supportive devices that are worn in your shoes and position your foot, knee, hip, pelvis and spine in proper alignment. This results in more normalized weight distribution and a significant reduction in pain and discomfort throughout your body. Since 1994, we have been Specialists in designing custom orthotics and analyzing biomechanics. As physical therapists we design orthotics with respect to the alignment of your whole body as well as your foot and ankle. Your orthotic will improve the alignment, strength and stability of your knees, hips and spine as well as improve comfort and efficiency with movement. Biomechanics is the science of forces acting on and within the body. Your orthotics will be designed so that force moves directly & accurately through your musculoskeletal system giving your optimal power and efficiency. When rest isn’t enough–orthotics take the load off of inflamed tissue so you can walk, live and continue to train without pain.
One Hour Evaluation
- Like eyeglasses, we need to make sure your orthotic prescription is correct. A practitioner can never know exactly how someone’s foot and entire body will respond to a device. The art and science of the design has to be tested.
- As physical therapists, we are uniquely skilled at assessing your total body’s alignment. Therefore, we evaluate how your foot, ankle, knee, hip, pelvis, and spine respond to your orthotic device. We also evaluate your biomechanics while you stand, squat, walk, and perform your desired actives ( running, cycling, walking etc.) As necessary, we perform another slow motion video gait analysis to identify any subtle issues.
- Core strength starts at the feet. We want to insure that your orthotics improve your access to muscular power throughout your feet, legs, pelvis and spine. This is determined by what muscles you recruit when you do specific movement patterns. For example, when people over pronate, often their lower legs and femurs internally rotate and their pelvis rotates anteriorly making it difficult to recruit their abdominals and hip muscles. Therefore, a critical part of fitting the orthotic is to see how the musculature throughout your feet, legs, pelvis, and spine respond to the device. With orthotics, our desired result is to balance the muscular demand and to increase core strength throughout your entire musculoskeletal system.
- We fit your orthotic to each and every style of shoe that you plan to wear. This is because the function of the orthotic is dependent on and impacted by the design and materials of the shoe that it is in. We make orthotics for walking and athletic shoes, dress shoes, and sports specific foot wear such as running, cycling, tennis, golf, soccer, dancing, Yoga, hiking and ski boots.
- We teach you additional exercises to help your body adapt to it’s new position.
- We make modifications in the clinic as a part of the fitting process and will modify them as needed as our commitment to you as a patient.
- Major modifications will be made at our lab for free for up to 4 months to insure your satisfaction.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What lab do you use and why?
Our Lab: Biomechanical Services Is located in Brea California. We have had a close relationship with this lab for almost 20 years. They have been active in teaching nationally since 1985 and stay on the cutting edge of research and development within the field of orthotic design and foot and ankle mechanics. They have been making orthotics for the US Soccer Team since 1985.
2. Will my orthotic be hard or soft?
The type of orthotic can range from a very soft to a semirigid device depending on a persons foot type, activities and foot ware.
3. How long will it take me to get my orthotics?
Approximately 3 weeks. This is a critical window of opportunity to prepare your body for the devices. If needed, this includes manual therapy, strengthening, and joint mobility exercises.
4. How are New Dimensions Physical Therapy orthotics different?
First and foremost: Our unique approach combines a thorough assessment of your foot and ankle as well as the alignment and mobility of your entire body. Second, we actually “fit” you in your orthotics vs mailing them to you or having you pick them up. Third: We also take measurements for precision. You might think that everyone who makes orthotics does this but when spending time in our lab and watching orders come in we shocked to see the number of casts that came in from PT’s, Podiatrists, and Pedorthotists with minimal to no specific details about the person whose feet have been casted. Forth: We do more than aggressively correct the rear foot. Often times foot adaptations and alignment issues can be due to issues in the forefoot or in the leg itself. Therefore, we correct structural problems in the foot by posting the rear foot and forefoot.
5. How are custom orthotics different than arch supports?
The arch is not a weight bearing surface of the foot. Therefore, alignment should not be corrected through the arch. During gait the arch needs freedom to lower and raise for shook absorption. Therefore, as stated above, we correct alignment by wedging or posting the rear foot and/or forefoot as necessary. If someone does not truly have structural issues and is simply weak, then an arch support can temporary be very helpful until one’s foot strengthens sufficiently to no longer require one. We are experts at analyzing your running biomechanics and detecting if you have muscle imbalances.
6. How long with my orthotics last?
Typically 2 years. This depends on milage and load as to how long they last.
7. What about additional pairs?
Our lab stores your orthotic mold for you for up to 4 months. If you want to take the cast with you — we do this routinely with our out of state patients—we can have the lab send it to us so you can store it at home for additional pairs. Usually our patients know within 4 months if they want additional pairs and because the orthotics we make last so long you will likely not need replacement pairs within the 2 year life of the device. Once 2 years or more have gone by we recommend that you get a reassessment to insure that your prescription is still accurate.
8. What if my orthotic wears out prior to the 2 year expected time frame?
Luckily our lab offers a service plan that allows you to get your orthotic refurbished as many times as you want within a 2 year period. For our patients who run repeated marathons in a year or who are high level athletes we recommend this option so that their orthotics are in peak condition throughout the life of the device.
9. Should I wait to buy new athletic shoes after I get my orthotics?
Actually it saves you time and appointments to bring several options of new shoes as well as your current ones to the fitting. This educates you and the therapist regarding what will work the best. We will make shoe choice recommendations when we see you for the evaluation, but the only way to know for sure how the orthotic, the shoe, your foot, and your body will respond is to test it out. We have great shoe stores like Lukes’ Locker who have great return policies and allow you to bring back the shoes we do not choose.
10. Will I always need to wear orthotics?
Manual therapy, strengthening, and stretching can make dramatic changes in alignment. Additionally, we often see that people’s feet and alignment change and they become stronger simply from wearing orthotics. Therefore, we often reduce the correction over time and some people achieve improved biomechanics to where they no longer need orthotics.
“My New Dimensions orthotics literally gave my life back!” – Corrine Irwin, Math tutor and former UT math teacher
Analyzing your biomechanics helps us identify the root cause of your pain. It is also critical for performance enhancement. Ultimately improving your biomechanics will allow you to move with increased comfort, confidence, strength, stability and ease. Biomechanics is the science of how forces act on and within the body. This has been a core specialty of our work at New Dimensions Physical Therapy since 1996.
How we assess and improve your biomechanics:
- We bring your musculoskeletal system into alignment so that forces can move directly through your joints. This “directness” of force is in contrast to “shearing” which happens when your joints are not “stacked” which can wear down our joints prematurely. Bringing your body into alignment and balance allows it to last as long as possible.
- We track the complexity of your alignment in motion and correct your mechanics during movement patterns such a walking, running, executing a golf swing, hitting a tennis ball, dancing, performing martial arts, lifting weights, climbing rocks etc…
- We detect any muscle imbalances that you may have and train you in the correct firing patterns to help you move with maximal ease and efficiency. This creates pain free stability, efficiency and power in your body.
- We know that core strength starts at your feet. Because they are your foundation, we look closely at the foot and ankle and how their function affect the rest of the body and vice versa. We design custom orthotics as needed to improve alignment throughout your whole body. Like eye glasses, if you need orthotics they make a huge difference and give you access to muscular strength, core power and pain-free movement. Ultimately your joints will last longer and you will feel better.
Aston Pilates-The New Dimensions Approach
This is an amazing system of movement training that takes the work of Joseph Pilates to a whole new level. The application of the Aston Kinetics concepts and principles of physics, fine tune and embellish the Pilates technique for maximum efficiency, ease and power.
The Pilates principles of movement are Concentration, Control, Centering (Powerhouse), Flow, Precision and Breath.
- Some principals of Aston Kinetics that are integrated into this movement training approach are: the use of timing, ground reaction force, momentum and the moment of suspension.
- Aston Kinetics also recognizes and emphasizes that how a movement is sequenced and initiated determines the result. By this we mean, that how you set up the body prior to moving and how you sequence the application of these physics principles throughout the entire motion determines the power, precision and ease of a movement.
What you can expect:
- In your 1:1 sessions you will be taken through Pilates exercises enhanced by the Aston paradigm for mat and equipment work as it meets the needs of your body and your goals for healing. Within each session, the concepts and access to strength that you learn is applied to functional movements that you do in your every day life. Here you learn how to apply these physics principals to your sports, lifestyle, livelihood or recovery process from injury for example. This supports one our clinic’s greatest goal is that it helps you hold and integrate these changes into your body for life!
- You will experience holding patterns begin to release so that cooperative movement throughout the body can occur where all you muscles do their share like a fine tuned orchestra. The Aston practitioner cues your musculoskeletal system to organize for maximum efficiency.
- The physical therapists and Aston Pilates practitioner work closely together to insure that your injury and individualized needs are prioritized in the design and pacing of your sessions.
Clinical Kinesiology is an approach that utilizes manual muscle testing to identify imbalances in a person’s system that may be impacting their capacity to heal. We have found this to be profound when coupled with our orthopedic assessment to enable us to determine the root cause and underlying components of why someone is in pain. This system enables us to rapidly identify what we need to do and in what sequence to bring the musculoskeletal system and the entire being into balance so that the body can be free to heal. In this paradigm, where multiple perspectives are integrated, results are quick and lasting. This approach is also a profound way to listen to the body’s innate wisdom so that it can be a voice and guiding influence in the treatment process. This shifts the patient/therapist relationship into a shared journey that is very healing and allows for a depth of change to occur in this space of reverence. It is a beautiful way to assist people in their healing process.
Aston Patterning is a sophisticated system of movement and bodywork that is highly effective at relieving pain, improving athletic performance and teaching individuals how to use their bodies with maximum ease and comfort. It is a holistic approach that creates deep, lasting change, where people’s bodies become more balanced and less painful. This assists individuals to reclaim their ability to express completely who they are and more fully participate in life.
Aston Patterning is intention focused therapy. With every touch or guidance there is ongoing analysis of the bodies response, so that a person’s needs can be met in any given moment.
Aston Practitioners are trained to be acutely aware, so that they can be facile in attuning to and matching where a patient is at all times during bodywork and movement. It is from this place that deep change and release becomes possible.
The gift of this approach is identifying the unique patterns of movement and alignment for each individual. Aston Patterning also considers how thoughts, beliefs, and emotions held in the body can impact and influence physical patterns.
Once a pattern is identified, it is addressed through a process of unraveling adaptive layers in the body. A layer can present as limited mobility in soft tissue, joints, and bones that is affecting the whole body system. These layers can be addressed through movement training as well as manual therapy/bodywork.
Aston manual therapy/bodywork techniques use touch in a three dimensional way that honors the direction, speed and force that is optimal to facilitate tissues to release. This degree of specificity and accuracy creates gentle yet profoundly effective deep tissue work. The rest of the body becomes balanced with respect to the change that was created.
Aston movement training, analyzes and facilitates movement with respect to the body’s use of physics principles such as the magnitude and direction of force vectors, gravity and ground reaction force. This allows movements to be less painful and compressive; making people fluid, efficient, faster, and stronger.
Aston Patterning places an emphasis on the experiential aspect of body use. Each individual patient is offered on opportunity to become aware of their unique patterns and will be an active participant in bringing their system into greater balance. These skills will benefit you for a lifetime.
Somatic Experiencing is the art of being profoundly attuned to someone such that their nervous system can be delicately facilitated to complete the process of releasing held trauma or bracing patterns in the body. This approach is very gentle and is not re-traumatizing. One does not have to relive or recount an event to process it somatically through the body.
We often see patients who have chronic pain and have not responded to excellent physical therapy approaches in other settings. These patients are often very frustrated and in pain cycles where their pain can get even worse in response to a therapeutic intervention. In these cases their pain is lasting much longer than it takes for their body to physically heal. When unresolved trauma that is held in the body is released, pain relief and healing can take place.
In our clinic SE work is often done in conjunction with manual therapy and movement reeducation as memories, sensations, or fears arise spontaneously in the context of a therapy session (e.g., learning to walk again after a hip replacement or someone freely turning their head again after a car accident). Other times patients come in and are aware that they are unable to release trauma in their body and directly ask for help moving it through their system so that they can heal and alleviate pain.
As Father Carl Arico says “The issues are in the tissues”. We find that statement to be profoundly true and it is a privilege to help people heal on such a profound level.
Conditions that Benefit from SE
SE is very helpful in treating our patients with myofascial pain, fibromyalgia, pelvic floor dysfunction, low back pain, RSD, whiplash, as well as people who have experienced trauma from medical procedures. Additionally, this approach is also very effective with high velocity sports injuries; for example, athletes who have sustained head traumas playing soccer and football. That said, every patient that comes in has a nervous system with unique needs and when this can be honored and met, their body’s receptivity to the healing process is accelerated.
I had a patient referred to me who had bilateral patellofemoral pain following a car accident that had not responded to extensive prior care. She was a Yoga instructor who had been unable to bend her knees without pain for months. After one session of applying SE techniques I was able to help her release the trauma that was held in her nervous system from the car accident so that she could fully bend her knees without pain. That was truly remarkable. It was not a one session cure, but it gave her hope and allowed her body to feel what was possible. Aston Patterning work got her the rest of the way to having no limitations teaching and demonstrating Yoga poses.
Patients who come to our clinic, including people from out of state, do so because they have failed to improve without this approach. One patient in particular came to us from New York State for orthotics because she was still painful and swollen in her knee 3 years after her second total knee replacement. After the first procedure she underwent physical therapy unsuccessfully for 1 year prior to the surgeon admitting that he had not glued the prosthesis in place. She therefore underwent a second TKR and we were seeing her 3 years later. She understandably presented with trauma held in her knee from this experience. She was very fearful and guarded with movement and had to walk with a cane. Within three days of treatment with this approach her swelling had reduced and she had significantly less pain and fear of using her knee, which allowed her to dance a little jig at the end of the week prior to returning to New York. This is the amazing value of this work. It is a powerfully profound approach and is quickly growing in popularity internationally. I am grateful to Peter Levine for bringing it to our medical community.
Intensive Treatment Programs
Intensives: This is an opportunity where patients come for sessions at a more concentrated frequency and duration to jumpstart and re-direct their healing process. Intensives allow for deeper work and profound changes to occur over a shorter period of time. This particularly is helpful to patient’s who are from out of state. We often use a multidisciplinary approach to make sure that patients get the most that we have to offer in a short amount of time. Rebecca Steiner looks forward to one day doing intensive healing retreats with her patients in Hawaii—where she spends as much time as possible because it is one of the most healing places on earth. If you are interested, please let her know.
Running Biomechanics Assessment
We have been working with short and long distance runners in Austin and throughout the US since 1996.
We are quick to identify issues with technique and biomechanics that result in injury or impact efficiency.
We have created a biomechanics training system where we can take runners at any level and improve their performance and help them run without pain.
In this system we achieve the following:
- refine muscle firing patterns to improve endurance and power output
- restore range of motion limitations to specifically enhance shock absorption
- remove adaptation patterns and retrain optimal technique
- restore alignment with manual therapy and strengthening
- neutralize mechanics to allow current injuries to heal and prevents future injuries
- Whether you are interested in shaving seconds off your PR or wanting to prepare your body to safely learn to run — we can help and would be honored to assist you achieve your goals.
“I have known Rebecca Kern Steiner for over ten years and am consistently amazed at how quickly she analyzes running related injuries and weaknesses. She thoroughly tests all angles and possibilities of the problem. Her talent again show in the efficient way she will resolve the injury or issue and reeducate the body to train at a high level. Her follow-up and continuing concern for her patients is outstanding. Rebecca represents one of the best aspects of the Austin athletic community.” – Mac Allen, Running Coach – teammac
“Rebecca understands the body and is able to find a solution to every problem. She has been able to instill joy and hope in me whenever I have been injured. Making orthotics is what Rebecca is known for but her skill also lies in rehabilitating injuries.” – Gilbert Tuhabonye, Running Coach – Gilbert Gazelles
“I fly in from out of state 4 x per year to have Rebecca balance out my body, get my muscles firing and to fine tune my running technique.” – Alice George, Marathoner – Tulsa, Oklahoma
Medical Bike Fit
It just makes sense—when your bike really fits you well, you ride more comfortably and efficiently. You can access more powers with less effort. This is critical for a competitive cyclist and it prevents injuries in everyone who rides. Improving your cycling biomechanics gives you:
- more power with less effort
- improved endurance
- less overuse injuries
- less strain on your back
- less compression in your neck
- relief of any numbness in your hands
- powerful recruitment in your abdominals which leads to more power, endurance and less injuries.
- What is unique about our approach is that we teach you how to optimize your bodies alignment on your bike and teach you how to recruit your muscles for maximal efficiency and to balance out the demand on your musculoskeletal system.
- What does it really mean to optimize your bodies alignment? It is different for everyone because no two bodies are the same. This is where the “medical” part comes in. We evaluate you on your bike so that we can identify the areas where you need more stability or improved alignment so that forces can move directly through your body. This gives you more force output- more power- and reduced overload on your joints.
- We also assess your muscle recruitment patterns while you are cycling so that we know how to refine your technique and also identify why an overuse injury may be present. This also helps us narrow down what we need to more closely examine in greater detail with specific muscle testing.
- Off the bike we assess for any joint mobility limitations in your spine, hips and pelvis that are affecting your technique.